Northern California Educational Leadership Consortium

NorCal Educators' Digest

Join the NorCal ELC Network and we’ll send you an email when each newsletter is available. Our newsletter is an information source for project activities, events, resources, school success stories, and hot topics for schools in the Shasta Region of 21CSLA.

NorCal Educator's Digest

November & December 2021

Expanded Transitional Kindergarten: What it Means for Students, Families and Educators

In July, Governor Newsom approved Assembly Bill 130 that makes numerous changes to education finance in California. The most consequential of these may be expansion of Transitional Kindergarten so that by the 2025-26 school year all four-year-olds will have access to high quality, developmentally appropriate Pre-K education.

What is Transitional Kindergarten (TK)?

TK is the stepping stone between preschool and Kindergarten. It is an additional year of Kindergarten for children who turn five after September 1 (TKCalifornia). “A TK Program provides a readiness year that will better prepare children for success once they enter traditional kindergarten” (California Kindergarten Association). According to the California Department of Education press release:  “We know from research and from experience that the early years are critical to support a child's learning and development,” said Thurmond. “Universal pre-K is a first of its kind effort and California’s opportunity to ensure every child—regardless of background, race, ZIP code, immigration status, or income level—gets the fair start they need and deserve on their path to success.”

Key TK Features of AB 130

  • TK is phased in starting in the 2022-23 school year through the 2025-26 school year by expanding eligibility by 2 months each year.
  • Establishes TK child to adult ratios and average class size.
  • Maintains a parent’s ability to choose which Early Learning and Care program best serves their 4-year-old.
  • Expands time for teachers to meet Early Childhood Education requirements and permits the Commission on Teacher Credentialing to assess current TK credential requirements.
  • Appropriates $490 million for the program for the 2021–22 fiscal year, that includes funds for hiring, training, professional learning, wrap-around services, facilities, nutrition programs, before and after school programs, establishing or strengthening partnerships with other Pre-K providers, etc.
  • Requires LEAs to develop plans by June 30, 2022.

(Read a summary of additional features from Early Edge California (PDF).)

NorCal ELC will be collaborating with the State System of Support and 21CSLA statewide to help bring implementation assistance for universal transitional kindergarten to school and teacher leaders in our region.  as Universal Transitional Kindergarten is implemented. To read more, here’s an article from EdSource: How California’s New Transitional Kindergarten Program Will Be Rolled Out.

If you have ideas for how NorCal ELC can support educators with Universal TK, contact Dr. Michael Kotar.

Leading from “ The Center

By Sandra Azevedo

Right in the center of Northern California, sits Shasta County, home to Shasta County Office of Education (Shasta COE). Not only does Shasta COE have a centralized geographical location, it also holds a centralized position of coordination in supporting eleven county offices of education in the rural north.  In 2018 Shasta COE became the Geographic Lead for Region 2, tasked with leadership and guidance as COEs weave together the key initiatives within California’s State System of Support.  Led by Wendy Hall, Shasta COE’s Director of Continuous Improvement and Support, monthly meetings and a host of subcommittees create a networked north that connects, shares and supports one another through all aspects of creating equitable educational systems.

Shasta COE is “walking the equity talk.” Through recent thoughtful engagement with the American Indian Advisory, Judy Flores, Shasta County Superintendent of Education sought to understand root causes of chronic absenteeism and strengthen relationships with Native families. Flores and colleagues conducted a listening session and surveyed families “to really learn and understand what we are facing” regarding attendance. Upon discovering that ceremonies are integral to the well-being of Native children, Flores and the American Indian Advisory advocated successfully for new legislation that allows California students attending Native cultural ceremonies and events to have those absences “excused”.  Kelly Rizzi, Director of School and District Support for Shasta COE, called this community collaboration as “deeply healing work” that is serving as a model for other counties. For more information, see article here.

Shasta COE’s Professional Learning Department supports educators with many cutting edge learning opportunities that can be accessed by both county and regional educators. Rebecca Lewis, Executive Director, coordinates the coaching, networking and training to help educators achieve their professional goals.  A regular newsletter reports on upcoming offerings and shares spotlights (subscribe here). Educators can also view Shasta’s Professional Learning Calendar.  

Dr. Kim McKenzie, Director of Instructional Services at Shasta COE is an active liaison for the work of Shasta COE as she is also a leader and coach for the NorCal Educational Leadership Consortium (NorCal ELC).  Questions about work or offerings at Shasta COE can be directed to Dr. Kim McKenzie. NorCal is grateful for the leadership and heart that Shasta COE exemplifies.

Whole-Child Design Series - North State Cohort

As we persevere through the pandemic and all of the disruption and stress it has caused, there is a lot of talk about focusing on the “whole-child.” But what does this mean in practice? What do educators need to do differently? What are the implications for schools and districts?

Turnaround for Children – in partnership with the Butte County Office of Education and the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence – invites you to find the answers through a free four-session series on Whole-Child Design. The series will introduce practical tools, structures and systems for a whole-child approach that is grounded in the science of learning and development and rooted in equity. Participants will have time to explore how these resources fit within their own classroom, school or district context.


The set of free resources includes four 90-minute workshops covering the following content:

  • The Science of Learning and Development
  • Developmental Relationships
  • Supportive Environments
  • Integrated Knowledge, Skill and Mindset Development
  • Two hours of free consulting support per district team


Thursday afternoons, 3:15 to 4:45 PM

  • February 17, 2022
  • March 3, 2022
  • March 17, 2022
  • March 31, 2022


This series is appropriate for educators in many roles - teachers, principals, student support staff, expanded learning providers, district administrators, etc.

Priority for this series will be given to people participating in school and district teams from Northern CA. Teams might include representatives from curriculum and instruction, student support services, expanded learning, school leadership and/or teaching.

Register Here.(opens in new window)

Questions? Contact Katie Brackenridge.

Angst: Building Resilience -- Statewide Initiative to Assist with Student Mental Health

Free to Schools! 

The California Department of Education is partnering with IndieFlix Education, the CalHOPE program, and Blue Shield’s California’s BlueSky initiative to provide Angst: Building Resilience, a film-based youth mental health support program for middle and high school students.

Mental health challenges faced by students are increasing.

To bring the Angst: Building Resilience program to your school district at no cost, visit the Angst: Building Resilience - California Initiative web page.

You might also be interested in subscribing to the California Safe and Supportive Schools Newsletter(opens in new window).

Share Your Educational Leadership Practices

The Research-Practice team of the 21CSLA State Center is starting to produce briefs to help bridge the gap between research and practice in educational leadership. These will summarize state-of-the art research and report on actionable implications of the research. For each topic the 21CSLA Research-Practice team will reach out to educational leaders across the state to interview and hear their stories and experiences about that topic. To generate Practice Briefs, the team wants to create a pool of educational leaders who would be interested in being interviewed and getting their experiences/voices heard.

If you are willing to share your experiences and be highlighted in a Practice Brief, please fill out the Google form.

New Leadership Boot Camp Online Course

NorCal ELC participant, Irene Salter, recently released an online course called Leadership Boot Camp. The course teaches research-backed leadership survival skills that educators need most in stressful, overwhelming times — quieting the stress response, managing your to-do list & email, delegating, rediscovering passion and purpose, building a support network, quieting critical inner voices, having hard conversations, etc.

The course is offered via 20 minute online videos, delivered to your inbox every week for 6 months, with synchronous Zoom practice sessions every month. The first 2 months are FREE. The next 4 months are $200.

Register here .(opens in new window)

NorCal ELC Webinar Series

We’ve sponsored a series of webinars that focus on increasing equity in education and social and emotional learning. The upcoming webinar will be held live cast on Zoom.

NorCal Equity Community of Practice

With Lily Chang - Coordinator of Continuous Improvement, BCOE

  • Thursday, January 13, 2022, @ 3:30-5 PM (Session 2 of 4)

Achieving equity in education is necessary to improve the outcomes for students and staff, especially those who have been historically marginalized. It’s imperative that educators come together to prioritize equity as it relates to race and culture, address systemic racism, forms of oppression and exclusion, and identify unfair practices and policies that contribute to inequitable outcomes. Participants will deepen their learning and awareness, share resources and tools, collaborate and network in order to move to action. 

Session Schedule:

  • Session 3 will be held live cast on March 24, 2022
  • Session 4 will be held live cast on May 12, 2022 

Register here... (PDF)